The Zoya Factor is not quite what you’d assume it to be — a woman-centred romantic comedy. It’s the hero who runs away with the chick flick. Based on Anuja Chauhan’s novel of the same title, the film has a bumbling ad executive, Zoya Solanki (Sonam Kapoor) at its centre. On a shoot with the Indian cricket team, she ends up becoming its lucky mascot for the World Cup and also charms her way to the team captain Nikhil Khoda’s (Dulquer Salmaan) heart. The ultimate romantic fantasy of any Indian girl next door.
- Director: Abhishek Sharma
- Starring: Sonam Kapoor, Dulquer Salmaan, Sanjay Kapoor, Angad Bedi, Sikander Kher, Manu Rishi, Koel Purie
- Run time: 136 minutes
- Storyline: Bumbling ad executive, Zoya Solanki, on a shoot with the Indian cricket team, ends up becoming its lucky mascot and also charms her way to the team captain’s heart
On paper the personal and professional struggles of Zoya seem like an ideal vehicle for any wannabe Indian Bridget Jones to run riot. Not quite. The ditzy manner of the impeccably clad Sonam Kapoor works only up to a point and becomes pesky when stretched over two hours. Like her, the quirky tenor of the film also feels deliberate than organic and is irritating and clunky at that. The misunderstandings between the lovers are played out the worst. Not only do they feel needless but also inert. Where's the emotional pull? And, one hasn’t yet come to how the combination of the world of cricket and advertising easily paves the way for some uncomfortably conspicuous in-film brand endorsement.
The cast is largely populated with consciously oddball characters, be they the cricketers, the advertising professionals, Zoya’s own family and colleagues or even the two commentators we hear and laugh at but don’t get to see. Zoya and Koel Purie as her boss are the only women in the male world and it’s the male actors who register a shade better than them on the audience, be it Sanjay Kapoor as Zoya’s father or Sikander Kher as her brother, Angad Bedi as the captain’s rival or Manu Rishi as the scheming board member.
Despite the film being a rickety ride and Dulquer Salmaan not being utilised to his best potential, the Malayalam star still ends up playing the most rounded role of the lot. He steals the show with his mere presence that is both intelligent and charming in a believable, non filmi way. He gives the very few and far between dreamy, mushy moments that are a key to any opposites attract love story. Wish there could be more of them here. The look he gives Zoya, suffused with an amused affection, was enough to melt my geriatric, fossilised heart. What to say for the fresh and fledgling ones.